Nambu Solves Twitter Clutter


The great thing about Twitter is that there are a million different ways to both access and contribute to the content being shared there. The bad thing about Twitter is that there are a million different ways to both access and contribute to the content being shared there.

Nambu is a native OS X application for Twitter that packs advanced features with a slick user interface to help you make some sense out of all that control. Its latest release adds a couple of additional tricks on the search front by integrating continuously updated results from FriendFeed, OneRiot and Yahoo! News.

The Problem

I don’t know how many different tools for Twitter are available at the moment, but I’m sure that by the time I finish writing this, two new ones will have been released. For a while, my own improvised solution included Twitterrific, RSS feeds, MicroPlaza for meme tracking of external links, TwitterSpy via Adium for search tracking, Safari 140, and Newsfire for posting, and Growl for desktop notifications.

While my system worked well enough, it was nevertheless a pain to manage, especially across multiple machines. What I really wanted was a single, easy-to-manage application that would still provide the kind of fine control over the content that I was able to achieve with the convoluted solution above.

A Solution

Though still in beta, Nambu already offers a healthy set of features aimed at the advanced user. With support for multiple accounts and groups, you can organize those you’re following in a way that makes sense. Personally, I use accounts as a way to bring together users based on the level of quality in their posts and then, within each account, group users based on the type of content shared.

Nambu account and group management screen

With search and trends functionality built in, you can quickly adjust a filter to return content of short-term interest for conferences like WWDC or for watching the buildup of mass hysteria over things like swine flu. Search results appear in a continuously updating stream and can be filtered by keyword or service.

Nambu search window

Maybe the best thing about all this advanced user goodness is that it’s all wrapped up in a nice Cocoa package. If you’ve been stuck using janky Adobe Air applications, the slick user interface of Nambu will be a welcome respite. There are plenty of nice little touches like multiple visual layout options, control over Growl notifications for each account, visually threading @replies to make following conversations easier, and the ability to quickly jump to specific user windows.


Bottom Line

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. Nambu still has a fair amount of work to do in the stability department as the application crashes more often than it should. The latest version (1.2) does seem more stable, but I’ve only been able to test it for the better part of a day. There is some talk from the developers about more fully featured support for FriendFeed and Facebook, but at the moment, those account options remain disabled. To be fair, it is still in beta, and I would expect the stability and feature set to improve as the application moves closer to a final version.

All in all, it’s the most full-featured native OS X Twitter client I’ve come across, though I still need to have a look at the two new ones that were released while I was writing this post. Do you have a favorite Twitter client of your own, or a custom built solution you want to share? Tell us about your approach in the comments or drop me a line on Twitter @BryanSchuetz.